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Man of Music

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February marks Black History Month, the month where America brings out ode to upstanding and influential African-Americans in history. Many influential figures include Barack Obama, the first black president when elected in 2008 that helped the US, and Martin Luther King Jr., whose actions led to the abolition of Jim Crow laws that had segregated white and black men and women. For this article, we will be taking a look into a certain musician of my interest: Cab Calloway. Now everyone is probably asking: “Why isn’t this guy writing about someone more known, like Louis Armstrong or Nat King Cole?”. Well, they may be well known, but I’ve been listening to Calloway’s music for some time longer than those two.

 

Calloway was born on December 25, 1907 (or Christmas) in Rochester, New York. He grew in Baltimore, Maryland until heading to Chicago to study law. Despite this, he sang nightly at the Sunset Club. He performed there until he met Louis Armstrong himself, who taught Calloway how to scat sing. Calloway proceeded to join and lead a group known as the Alabamians, only to lead another group known as the Missourians afterwards. He changed the Missourians into Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, and became an average performing group at The Cotton Club in Harlem. There, he also performed his most well known song, “Minnie the Moocher”, which gave him and the group well known recognition. Unfortunately, the group split due to Calloway’s financial problems. He soon faded out of the spotlight as a minor performer, until he landed a role in the 1952 musical Porgy and Bess as Sportin Life’. Sportin’ Life was actually created as George Gershwin, the creator of the musical, thought of Calloway while making the character. Calloway then starred in the 1967 Broadway production Hello Dolly!, which featured an all black cast. He proceeded to be one of the most well recognized singers until his death in November 18, 1994 due to a stroke.

 

So that about sums up his bio. Hope to do this again another time.

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The student news site of Bridgeport Central High School
Man of Music